By Nick Craddock
I’m so tempted to start this post with a cheesy line. The temptation is too strong, here goes nothing: Alex Burrows took a bite out of the Boston Bruins in game 2 of the Stanley Cup finals Saturday night.
Burrows probably shouldn’t have been in the lineup for game 2 after biting Boston’s Patrice Bergeron’s finger in game 1; however, the NHL didn’t suspend Burrows because the league’s disciplinarians ruled that there was inconclusive video evidence proving Burrows’ guilt. Clearly, the NHL couldn’t handle the truth.
If irony were made of strawberries, Boston Bruins fans would be drinking a lot of smoothies because Burrows not only managed to remain in the lineup, but tormented the Bruins in game 2, which ended by virtue of his overtime winner, 11 seconds into the fourth period (Not to toot my own horn, but I totally called it on Twitter that he would net the game-winner. Nailed it! Nailed it! Nailed it!).
Just like that, Burrows went from a “Black & Decker Tool of the game” to a most valuable player of the game. And just like that, the Bruins are now facing very real peril in this series as they face a must-win game Monday night at home.
If Burrows had only scored the game-winner, maybe Bruins fans could somewhat stomach his presence in this game. However, Burrows was phenomenal all game long, so chugging Pepto seems to be the only solution for Bruins fans. Burrows opened the scoring for the Canucks and until the third period, when the Sedin twins started to click, Burrows was shouldering much of the attack for the Canucks.
The oft-maligned (well, oft-maligned during the 2011 playoffs anyway) Bruins, Milan Lucic and Mark Recchi (he’s about to turn into fossil fuel any day now), got on board with a goal each, but the most maligned man in the NHL since Wednesday night responded to his naysayers in amazing fashion.
Fantastique, Monsieur Burrows!
Turning point: When Daniel Sedin tied the game at 2-2 shortly before the midway mark of the third period. From that point on the crowd was behind their hometown team once more and the Canucks seemed to have most, if not all, of the scoring chances and controlled momentum.
Three Stars of the game:
1. Burrows: Even before he scored his overtime goal, the forward’s performance throughout game probably warranted first-star status. The goal cemented his phenomenal game.
2. Roberto Luongo: Another stellar performance from man in the crease from the Canucks. Of the 30 shots he saw, he saved 28 of them and Mark Recchi’s goal was a change-of-direction goal that Luongo had no chance to stop.
3. Alex Edler: Given the absence of Dan Hamhuis (undisclosed lower-body injury), Edler played like a top-two defensemen. He chipped in with hits, a pair of assists and was a plus-2
Black & Decker Tool of the game: Zdeno Chara. You don’t expect a 6-foot-1, 199-pound French Canadian who snacks on human flesh, specifically a person’s digits, to blow by a bearded Slovakian, who also happens to be a former Norris Trophy winner in 11 seconds. But, Burrows made Chara look foolish on the sole play during the overtime period, which also happened to be the decisive play.
Other nuts and bolts: This is the second consecutive game the Bruins have lost in heartbreaking fashion. Losing both games in Vancouver is probably something the Bruins realized as a very real possibility before this series started, but two blowouts probably would’ve been better for team morale than the fashion in which the team lost these games.
Boston finally scored on the power play (1-for-3). Whether it was a fluke or if this shows semblance of offensive rhythm with the man advantage is yet to be seen. Undoubtedly, the Bruins will hope to use this small success on the power play acts a building block for future success when the series shifts to the East Coast for games 3 and 4.
Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.